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Argentina power watch: Energy transition roadmap, renewables auction plan, AES Andes wind expansion

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, November 17, 2022

Argentina’s federal energy department is working with provinces on an energy transition roadmap, deputy chief of energy planning Cecilia Garibotti said in a statement. 

Garibotti underscored the importance of building new power lines to incorporate more renewables parks into the grid.

Renewables covered around 13.5% of demand in Argentina in January-September. The country has a goal of hitting 20% by 2025.  

The government, to help ease bottlenecks, is planning to put out to tender 132kV power lines using US$1.14bn of IDB financing, initially in Entre Ríos, La Pampa, Tucumán, Catamarca and Santa Fé provinces. 

In a related development, the federal energy department instructed wholesale power market administrator Cammesa and the federal energy transport trust fund to start a tender process for 132kV Río Negro province transmission line project Alipiba II. Work involves building a roughly 130km power line and the price tag of the project and ancillary work is around US$80mn, the provincial government said in August. Switching yards in the province and Neuquén are also expected to be put out to tender.

Private sector players are interested in potentially helping finance a new 500kV power line that would run in parallel with existing ones linking wind hubs in Buenos Aires province with demand centers. Any investment decisions would partly hinge on further progress in the sphere of subsidy segmentation and on regulatory stability.    

Argentina has abundant wind resources in the central region. Work to boost dispatch to Buenos Aires would involve a stretch of around 500km along an existing transmission corridor.  

Energy transition measures will require estimated outlay of US$25.8bn, according to information in the country’s 2030 national climate change mitigation and adaption plan.

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The government is preparing to launch by year-end a supply auction for 400-450MW of capacity to replace forced generation in some parts of the grid, local media outlet Energía Estratégica reported.

Technologies sought include battery storage, solar, wind, biomass, hybrid and small-scale hydropower.

The federal government and Cammesa recently received more than 400 expressions of interest in renewable energy projects. Officials want to build out renewable energy capacity near to centers of consumption, with a key aim of reducing diesel-fired forced generation.      

A lack of grid infrastructure could hamper development of large-scale renewables projects in some parts of the country.

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Generator AES Argentina is planning to invest US$100mn to expand its 99.8MW Vientos Bonaerenses wind park by 53MW, the federal energy department said. 

The project has not been granted priority dispatch – sought by developers looking to secure private power-purchase agreements via the Mater term market. 

BNamericas has asked for further information from AES Andes’ Argentine unit.

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